Explain why the First crusade succeeded at Antioch

Alan Thomson
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Alan Thomson
Created by Alan Thomson over 5 years ago
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Explain why the First crusade succeeded at Antioch
1 What happened?
1.1 The siege of Antioch between Oct 1097 and June 1098 proved the crusaders’ greatest challenge
1.1.1 the city was besieged, and captured on 2nd june 1098
1.1.2 victory in the battle of Antioch came on 28th june.
2 Why was Antioch so important?
2.1 Antioch was of key significance to the crusaders
2.1.1 it was of great religious importance to Christians, second only to Jerusalem
2.1.1.1 it was the site of the first Christian church founded by the apostle Peter
2.1.1.1.1 Antioch had been the home of the apostle Luke
2.1.2 The city was also of strategic significance in their rear as they marched south to Jerusalem
3 Muslim disunity
3.1 A key reason for the crusaders’ survival was the failure of the muslim world to unite against them
3.1.1 The crusaders were able to defeat three separate piecemeal attacks
3.1.1.1 Ridwan, Emir of Aleppo was repulsed in Feb. 1098
3.1.1.2 Bohemond, although outnumbered defeated the army of Duqaq, the Emir of Damascus in Dec. 1097
3.1.1.3 on 28th June 1098 the crusaders defeated the fragile coalition led by Kerbogha, Emir of Mosul.
4 Byzantine help
4.1 the departure of General Tatikios and his troops in Feb. 1098 ended direct Byzantine involvement in the crusade
4.1.1 However, the Byzantine fleet continued to provide vital supplies through the port of St Simeon
5 Bohemond of Taranto
5.1 Bohemond emerged at Antioch as a key military commander
5.1.1 he not only led the crusaders in all three victories over the Muslims
5.1.1.1 he also secured control of the city in june 1098 when he plotted with Firouz, a renegade Armenian to betray a gate in the city wall
6 Luck
6.1 The crusaders were lucky the muslims failed to unite, and also would have been caught between the city walls and Kergogha’s army if Firouz had not betrayed his position
7 Religious fervour
7.1 morale was at its lowest point and a muslim coalition led by the Emir of Mosul was approaching
7.1.1 Peter Bartholomew had a vision of St Andrew revealing the site of the Holy Lance a relic which had pierced Christ’s side during the crucifixion
7.1.1.1 the Holy Lance was found in the church of St Peter on the 14th June
7.1.1.1.1 the Lance strengthened resolve and inspired religious fervour which transformed the morale of the crusaders
7.1.1.1.1.1 . On 28th led by Bohemond and the lance the crusaders defeated Kerbogha’s muslim coalition in battle
8 Conclusion
8.1 Military skill was of key importance
8.1.1 the crusaders’ heavy cavalry won three key battles against the Turks between Dec. 1097 and June 1098
8.1.1.1 Their battle hardness and cohesion had been acquired during two years of campaigning
8.1.1.2 Tom Asbridge argues that Antioch was won through desperation and fear as much as faith
9 Further reading
9.1 Byrom, pp.41-3

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